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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Pythons In The Everglades

Too little attention has been given to the problem of pythons in the Everglades. I mean, sure, Floridians are getting used to alligators trying to batter their way into houses in order to reach the tasty morsels inside, but does that mean that Floridians should not worry about twenty-foot snakes crusing for a delicious and nutritious main squeeze? I think not.

On second thoughts, if this news spreads it will probably not be good for the Florida housing market, will it? Those old fogies might have second thoughts about retiring to Florida's sunny climes. Remember, you do not have to run faster than the python or the alligator - you only need to outrun the old geezer by your side. It is a pity when the grandkids get eaten though. Physical fitness and alertness is very important in some areas of Florida nowdays. As of 2004, this journal lists 22 fatalities from alligators in Florida since 1948 out of 334 cases.

If the pythons are breeding and eating everything in sight (see the link above), sooner or later they will come out of the swamps. And then, apparently they are trying to eat the alligators, which is not a bad thing. In Florida, an alligator that tries to break down your front door is termed a "nuisance", whereas in my part of Georgia it's more like a community shoot:
"He was banging his head against their front door," said Collins, who fields nuisance alligator calls throughout the state. "That's considered a nuisance alligator."

The weirdest part of this story to my mind is that a crowd of people just gathered and just watched as the alligator tried to get into the house for about an hour.

Alligators are fast, but at least they don't climb. Pythons do. And a snake that's hungry enough to try to eat a meal like this is definitely a threat to a human:

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